Scottish Saltires facing stiff test against Dutch

THE Saltires and their Dutch counterparts will contest two vital ODIs during the next 48 hours. Following last week's rain-ruined Intercontinental Cup match, the sides reconvene at Mannofield this morning to launch the ICC's one-day league for Associates.

The new contest has yet to be given context in terms of a specific competitive incentive but, with a qualification process now likely to take place for the 2015 World Cup, these fixtures have suddenly been afforded additional significance. If last week's curtailed action proved anything, it is that the Netherlands are a formidable unit. Their quest of a first innings lead on Friday was very much in the mould of a one-day run-chase and Peter Drinnen's men fell only three runs short of an improbable 310.

Pete Steindl, the Scotland coach, is aware of the threat but typically chooses to focus on the strengths of his own side. He said: "We know what the Dutch are all about and they are capable of playing good cricket. But we have proved in the past that we can match them and last year we were involved in a really tight finish and came out on the right side."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That game came almost exactly a year ago in Amstelveen when the Scots edged a thrilling finale to win by one wicket. Five of the side who took part in that game will not be involved this week, but, of the absentees from 12 months ago, only strike bowler Matty Parker can be regarded as a major loss on this occasion. Oli Hairs, Moneeb Iqbal and Ross Lyons have temporarily slipped off the radar while Dougie Lockhart has retired.

It could be argued that four of those coming in - Kyle Coetzer, Josh Davey, Calum MacLeod and I-Cup centurion Majid Haq - will strengthen the Saltires' cause. Parker's place may go to the young Dunfermline Knights pace bowler Safyaan Sharif, who is poised for a full international debut. Holland must do without Essex all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate, who is on county duty. The action gets under way at 10.45am.

Scotland: G Drummond capt, F Watts, P Mommsen, A Evans (Carlton), K Coetzer (Durham), J Davey (Middlesex), N McCallum, G Maiden (Grange), G Goudie (Stoneywood-Dyce), C MacLeod (Uddingston), M Haq (Clydesdale), R Berrington (Greenock), S Sharif (Dunfermline Knights).